LETTER: Fear on the Ballot and on YouTube

Letter to the editor from Mike Warner Past Chairman of the RTM Finance Committee, Dec 17, 2018

For decades, Greenwich Republicans controlled the powerful BET by successfully convincing the moderate, family-oriented voters that they should fear electing Democrats who didn’t possess the sober judgment, discipline or expertise to manage our town’s finances.

However, in 2017 things changed.

It was then that those same moderate, family-oriented voters were dismayed when they saw their Republican leaders tacitly approve of Donald Trump’s indecent very public conduct and hard-right political agenda.

The result was that Democrats, largely driven by women, took control of the BET and swept into the RTM in large numbers.

How did the Democrats do when in control of the BET for the first time? With a team of savvy financial professionals and Jill Oberlander as Chair, the Dem’s deftly managed our town’s finances, lowered the mill rate increase beyond the average for the last 10 years, and made sound investments for future contingencies.

Given this record of success, Republicans now face a serious dilemma in their effort to wrest back control of the BET and win the First Selectman’s race. Since the “fear” card had worked so often in the past, they are trying it again, but this time with a bold twist.

In their desperate attempt to paint moderate Democrat Jill Oberlander as an untrustworthy “borrow and spend liberal,” her opponents have opted to deceive voters by “doctoring” the video of her recent LWV Greenwich debate with Fred Camillo.

Surprisingly, Fred Camillo doesn’t even attempt to disown or disavow the sliced and diced video. Instead, he is trying to justify the altered tape, when the original clearly speaks for itself. Who does that? Attempting to justify a falsified tape intended to mislead voters and slander his opponent, then doubling down and publicly admitting it? Voters might well ask: Is this the kind of person we want representing us and our

Fear is on the ballot in the BET race, too. This time, Republicans are trying to show how really hard it is to manage the towns complex finances, especially with storm clouds on the horizon. (See GT 9/13/19 “Three Financial Challenges Facing Greenwich.”) They are saying that with the threat of a “potential recession,” “the higher cost of town government” and “the reduced income and wealth of our residents” we should be afraid…very afraid…to let anyone but tight-fisted Republicans run the BET, asserting we can no longer afford, “nice to haves” for our town, but only “need to haves.” (What if the town needs a new school? Are we being asked to eliminate Tod’s Point or the Island Beach Ferry because they’re not “need to haves”?)

Me? I’m optimistic. I’d rather face the future with the smart, disciplined, flexible leadership of the Democratic team, rather than with fear and tired doctrine of the Republican past.

The deadline to submit a letter to the editor regarding candidates in the Nov 5 municipal election is Tuesday Oct 29 at 5pm.